I had a chance to spend a few days with Reed and check on his swing. We made a minor adjustment to his backswing.
Mostly because, when it comes to the golf swing, I am a perfectionist. Also because that when you fine-tune a golf swing, you are building a swing for a lifetime. The building process (and maintenance process) is an essential part of the endeavor.
The first thing – reduce rotations.
To recap some of the changes, Reed has accomplished you must understand his swing from the beginning. As with most “conventional” golf swings, there is a premium on rotation from a two-plane address position. This created what I consider over-rotation in the backswing. It also required a loss of posture in the backswing and downing. Reed’s lead hand position was also rotated into a powerful position (Rotated on the top of the golf club).
The process of rebuilding Reed’s swing was to assess and reduce the rotations to eliminate unnecessary movement of the club shaft and club-face during the swing motion. This is the beauty of the Single Plane swing – it simplifies the movement of the Shaft and clubface to its most basic action.
“You only need to rotate as much as you need to rotate.”
The second thing – reduce the movement of the spine.
When you tilt the torso, it rotates. When you turn the torso, it leans. Therefore, the goal is to maintain the spine tilt as you roll. I call it “learning to bend and turn.” Bending and turning is critical to high swings. It requires proper lower and body movement, flexibility, and separation.
Reed’s initial over-rotation caused his spine to drop (head moved down) into backswing and downing. We adjusted his backswing to keep the spine more up and stable so his shoulders could walk on a flatter plane.
You can learn from Reed
One of Reed’s talents is his ability to translate a movement into his feel. I call this “connecting the brain to the body.” Connecting the brain to the body is the process of trying a new position and then being able to monitor your body’s ability to change its direction. When I would show Reed a modern movement, he will rehearse the feeling. Of it and then translate it into something he can relate. All athletes have learned this skill. Some of the best are dancers.
Most golfers aren’t striving for “purity of technique.” I believe this is a lost art of golf. I discussed this with Reed yesterday, and we both agree. Golfers are too concerned with distance and how far they hit it and less interested with consistency. Reed and I have committed to a different approach. We are striving for consistency first, and distance will come from the purity of ball spin and flight.
I see Reed about once each month. This week, the first thing I noticed about Reed’s ball- striking was the consistency of his trajectories. This is an excellent indicator that he the swing is becoming refined.
We made a small adjustment to the backswing
Reed was getting a slight bit of rotation in his initial movement into the backswing. One thing that I stress is the importance and consistency of the movement away from the ball.
You can see the difference in the photo where the club was getting a bit open in the backswing movement. In just a few swings, Reed was able to adjust the feel and correct the movement.